Peshawar’s top colleges: Self-finance admissions galore

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Peshawar’s Islamia College and Jinnah College for Women, the two prestigious public sector educational institutions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, offer more admissions on self-finance basis than open merit.

At intermediate level, especially in the pre-medical and pre-engineering classes, the self-finance scheme has become a major source of income for both the colleges.

Islamia College Peshawar, which is celebrating 100 years of its foundation, is the constituent college of Islamia College University, while Jinnah College for Women, established in 1960, is the constituent college of University of Peshawar.

The outstanding results of the ICP and JCW students in intermediate examinations are the major attraction for the people, who want to admit their children to these prestigious institutions. Most students of the two colleges get admission to medical and engineering colleges for having high marks.

However, the limited number of seats on open merit every year disappoints thousands of students for being denied admission. JCW has 70 seats for Part-I of pre-medical group and 20 seats for Part-I of pre-engineering on open merit, according to the college’s prospectus.

However, the seats offered on self-finance basis total 180, which is the double of those of open merit. The students of self-finance annually pay Rs40, 000 fee.

Similarly, there are 375 seats for open merit in Part-I of pre-medical and pre-engineering group of Islamia College for Boys and Islamia College for Girls, while on self-finance basis, the number of seats offered for these courses total 715, according to the prospectus of the college.

The normal fee in ICP is around Rs22,000, while the fee for self-finance admission is Rs55,000. When asked why the college is offering more admissions on self-finance basis than on open merit, spokesman for ICP Dr Naseeb Dar told Dawn that the country’s all public sector universities had been facing financial problems and self-finance scheme for admissions helped them generate money for functioning.

He said the government had increased salary of employees during the last three to four years but the Higher Education Commission had not provided additional funds to universities for increase of the staff’s salary.

Dr Dar said classes of the students admitted on self-finance basis were run in the second-shift and the college administration paid teachers from the fees of the students. He said in presence of postgraduate and bachelor’s classes, there was a shortage of space for the regular pre-medical and pre-engineering classes and therefore, the self-finance scheme was introduced in the evening shift.

“The self-finance scheme can be abolished by converting second shift classes to morning shift classes or regular classes if the government pledges to support the college,” he said.

JCW Principal Professor Neelofar Zaib was not available for comments. However, a senior member of JCW staff told Dawn that the self-finance scheme has been introduced on public demand. When asked why the college doesn’t expand its building for higher enrolments in the intermediate classes, the official said the construction of a new block on the premises was under consideration for the purpose.